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GCR Books

100 years ago: the players who left Arsenal

I have mentioned before that three regular players left Arsenal at the end of the 1909/1910 season.

  • McDonald H (goal) – 36 appearances in 1909/10
  • McGibbon (centre forwad),- those four appearances with 3 goals
  • Lawrence (inside right)- 25 appearances, 5 goals

Here’s some details of the first…

Hugh Lachlan McDonald was a goalkeeper who had five seasons with the club.  He played twice in 1905/6, and then not at all for two seasons, before playing 38 games in 1908/09 and 36 in 1909/10 (the two missing games in the final year being due to injury.)

We can have a clue as to his position in the club from those figures and the fact that he played in the notorious defeat to Blackburn in 1909/1910 despite the fact that he was so injured that he couldn’t jump off the ground or bend down to stop the ball.

In other words, clearly he was there by default – the only goal keeper we had – after the previous keeper was sold to pay the debts.

He was born in Ayrshire where he played for a range of local clubs, ending up at Beith before coming to London in 1906 and signing as reserve keeper to Jimmy Ashcroft.  He then moved on to Brighton and Hove in the southern league and then Oldham Athletic, and Bradford Park Avenue.

In May 1908 he returned to Arsenal after Ashcroft was sold as one of the early cost cutting measures.

Having left in 1910, in December 1912 he came back to Arsenal for a third time, but didn’t play any league games leaving for a final time in November 1913 after Arsenal brought in Joe Lievesley. He is therefore the only person to play for Arsenal three times.

He died in August 1920 aged just 36.

All the Arsenal Indexes – www.blog.emiratesstadium.info

Making the Arsenal – the book: www.woolwicharsenalco.uk

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